How to implement an effective home filing system

When working from home, it can be tricky to separate your business admin from your home admin. The last thing you want is for the two to get mixed up and create unnecessary stress. This is where a home filing system comes in. 

By implementing an effective filing system in your home office, you’ll be saving yourself time while being able to keep on top of all of your work and home responsibilities. We understand that setting up a home filing system may seem like a tedious task, but it’s actually a lot easier than you might think, and you’ll certainly reap the rewards for it after!

Here are our top tips on how to create a seamless filing system to make your work-from-home life easier.

Equipment You’ll Need for Your Filing System

First of all, it’s important to keep in mind, that a filing system is much more than just a cabinet. For the ultimate organisation, there are a few other office items you’ll need to keep everything running smoothly.

  • Shredder
  • Recycling bin
  • Label maker
  • File folders
  • Filing cabinet or box

Once you’ve got everything you need, it’s time to sit down and sort. Below are our 5 easy steps to building your home filing system.

5 Easy Steps for a Home Filing System

1. Gather Paperwork and Minimise

Paperwork can build up very quickly in a home office, and sorting through it can feel overwhelming. But, we promise it’ll be worth the effort. Gather up all the paperwork from your desk drawers, shelves, cupboards, kitchen counters and anywhere else in your home that it tends to accumulate. 

Find a clear space, such as the floor or a large table, and place all of your paperwork there, ready for sorting. The first and easiest task to do before you start sorting is to pick out any piece of junk mail you can see. Leaflets, flyers, catalogues and other promotional marketing material will have no place in your filing system.

2. Categorise Your Paperwork

When all the junk mail is cleared, and you’re left with the important paperwork, start categorising them. This should initially be done in two piles: work and home. 

Everything that’s related to you, your home, your family, or your pets should all be placed in the ‘home’ category, this includes things like bills, mortgage payments, appointments and receipts.

The second pile should purely be for work and include things such as, business bank statements and any other financial details, employee information, client information and supply information.

3. Sub-Categorise Your Paperwork

When you have your two broad piles, you can then begin to sub-categorise them. This will help you find exactly what you need in no time, rather than having to search through either your home or work pile. This step will be fairly time-consuming, depending on how much paperwork you have.

If you’re unsure about what sub-categories to put your paperwork in, here are some ideas:

Home Subcategories:

  • Bills
  • Passports
  • Insurance 
  • Certificates, e.g. birth, marriage, house deeds
  • Medical records
  • Vet records
  • Car details

Work Subcategories:

  • Accounting 
  • Insurance
  • Client information/projects
  • Employee information
  • Contracts
  • Marketing
  • Stock/Supplies/Equipment

Place each document into your chosen subcategories folders and label them. You should then sort each folder alphabetically to make finding documents even faster. We’d also recommend using separate filing cabinets for home and work items, so there’s no risk of paperwork getting muddled.

4. Securely Discard Unwanted Documents

During your sorting, you likely would’ve come across old documents that are no longer needed, such as employee information who may no longer work at the company, older versions of contracts and marketing materials. For these items, securely dispose of them using a shredder so that they don’t end up in the wrong hands.

5. Maintain Your Home Filing System

Lastly, make sure you keep your home filing system maintained. It can be very easy to let your paperwork build up again and become cluttered. Set time aside in your calendar, either weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, quarterly or even annually, depending on what you think will work best for your business, to go through the documents and reorganise or discard anything you don’t need.

Remember, the more frequent you organise and maintain your filing system, the easier and more routine it becomes. So, before you know it, you’ll be filling like a pro and will be the envy of all your coworkers!

If you’re a business looking to supply equipment for employees working from home, take a look at our office furniture and office supplies solutions pages and contact us today to discuss your needs.
For a more flexible approach, we also offer office equipment leasing services which will help you control your cash flow, afford better quality equipment and upgrade said equipment whenever you need it.

Get in touch

Need some help to get your office running like a well-oiled machine? We can make that happen.

Give us a call or send us an email and one of our team will be on hand to talk you through how we can help.

Alternatively, if you’re short on time, feel free to leave your name, email and phone number and we’ll give you a call back.

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